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JUST IN: FG suspends accreditation of degrees from Benin, Togo Republics after journalist exposed sharp practices  

The Federal Government has announced the suspension of evaluation and accreditation of degree certificates from the Republics of Benin and Togo.

Umar-Audu, DAILY NIGERIAN Reporter
Umar-Audu, DAILY NIGERIAN Reporter

Abuja, Nigeria

The Federal Government has announced the suspension of evaluation and accreditation of degree certificates from the Republics of Benin and Togo.

This followed an undercover report on how the degrees are obtained speedily without merit by DAILY NIGERIAN.

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The medium in the report published on December 30, 2023, exposed how corrupt government officials aid the fraudulent business of certificate racketeering.

The report further exposed how a reporter Umar Audu “completed” a four-year degree programme in less than two months from Ecole Superieure de Gestion et de Technologies, ESGT, Cotonou, Benin Republic.

Audu had obtained the certificate without application, registration, studying or writing exams.

According to Daily Nigeria, the reporter never crossed any Nigerian borders but an immigration officer was able to get his passport stamped by both Nigerian and Beninois immigration agents to enable him to participate in the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.

Reacting to the development in a statement on Tuesday signed by Augustina Obilor-Duru on behalf of the director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, the government lamented that “some Nigerians deploy nefarious means and unconscionable methods to get a Degree with the end objective of getting graduate job opportunities for which they are not qualified”.

According to the education ministry, the decision followed an investigative report by the Daily Nigerian Newspaper titled “UNDERCOVER: How DAILY NIGERIAN reporter bagged Cotonou varsity degree in 6 weeks, participated in NYSC scheme”.

The suspension will lapse after the outcome of an investigation involving the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Education of Nigeria and the two countries as well as the State Security Service (SSS) and the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC).

The statement indicated that the Education Ministry has set up a panel to “commenced internal administrative processes to determine the culpability or otherwise of her staff for which applicable Public Service Rules would be applied”.

The government called on Nigerians to cooperate with the committee and provide useful information that will assist in finding lasting solutions to the menace of Nigerians obtaining half-baked certificates from foreign universities.

“The issue of degree mills institutions, i.e institutions that exist on paper or operate in clandestine manner outside the control of regulators is a global problem that all countries grapple with. FME has been contending with the problem including illegal institutions located abroad or at home preying on unsuspecting, innocent Nigerians and some desperate Nigerians who deliberately patronize such outlets.

“Periodically, warnings have been issued by the Ministry and NUC against the resort to such institutions and in some instances, reports made to security agencies to clamp down on the perpetrators. The ministry will continue to review its strategy to plug any loopholes, processes and procedures and deal decisively with any conniving officials.

“The Ministry had always adopted the global standard for evaluation and accreditation of certificates of all forms which relies on receipt of the list of accredited courses and schools in all countries of the world.

“The Ministry wishes to assure Nigerians and the general public that, it is already putting in place mechanisms to sanitise the education sector, including dissuading the quest for degree certificates (locally or from foreign countries) through a re-invigorated focus on inclusivity, reliance on all skill sets as directed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR.

“The Federal Ministry of Education is committed to collaborating with stakeholders, including civil society organizations, to consistently enhance the Nigerian education system and we value the public’s understanding and patience as we strive to address these issues.”

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